Kuurne – Bruxelles – Kuurne 2024 Preview

A love Sunday is awaiting.

Route

Unfortunately no SanLuca.cc profile. I could do it manually, it would take my hours, so you will have to bare with me.

More details.

It is your classic Tom & Jerry. The attackers makes their move around Hameau des Papins. This is 102 km from the line.

The next chance is on Bourliquet, though I don’t recall it being the main move here.

It often happens on the third main climb, Mont Saint-Laurent. It is on cobbles.

Not long after is the Kruisberg – Hotond, first part on cobbles. Then, the Côte de Trieu. A fantastic climb on cobbles.

Last climb, Kluisberg. Then 61 km home.

It is a longer way to the line from Kluisberg than recent editions. In 2022 it was 54 km. In 2023 it was 52 km. Tomorrow, it is 61 km.

Weather

5-6 m/s, dry and 9 degrees C. The wind blows from the south, meaning a tailwind / crosswind on the main climbs. After Kluisberg, we have 10 km of headwind before a tailwind home. Suits the attackers.

How will the race unfold?

The attackers have won the last two times. This mainly has to do with JV making the climbing sectors very difficult and some strong riders willing to work their ass of not to get reeled in. This is your cat and mouse.

Visma will make the race hard. A team attack on one of the first climbs. The earlier they kick in the front door, the better the chances are. After Kluisberg, a chase will organize. They will play by their two rules. 1) If they don’t like the group, reel it in and attack again. 2) If they are satisfied, they will disrupt the chasing.

The thing is, the sprinters tend to get good at organizing the chase. Some team just wait out to late to save the leadout and that cost them year after year.

Contenders

Van Aert – he is not at 100% just yet. He couldn’t follow Skujins on Berendries, he almost went out the back! Tomorrow is a bit easier. Less selective. He is still World Class and will be one of the best here. I just don’t see the solo happening. He is a good sprint option.

Tratnik – I thought he was out! But he did the right thing. Sit back and hope everything gets back together. If you look back at it, he was in the middle of the peloton for a long while and only digged deeped on the last two climbs. I imagine he will play a role tomorrow, but I doubt someone will do a lead-out for him tomorrow.

Jorgensen – much more his terrain tomorrow. It was a good attack but he lost time on both the cobbled sectors despite looking fresh. Less cobbles and more repeated efforts is something I do think he will excel at. Maybe tomorrow is the day.

Laporte – looked good all day. He always pose a threat as he beats most in a sprint.

Van Baarle – I do not know really what happened and how he was not part of the main group. He tends to have really good days and sometimes an off day. I think he saved himself today, thinking the battle was won. Then, he just had to disrupt the chase.

Skujins – what was that? We knew he had stepped his game up after Worlds but this was wild. He dropped some of the very best riders on Berendries and then waited at the top. That effort makes it almost certain he will be good on the climbs tommorow.

Mohoric – he didn’t perform as well as I thought. Everyone can be on a bad day. Tomorrow is a good race for him, I think he will be better on tomorrow’s parcours.

Wellens – what an effort on the Muur. He has to hope the group stays away and he is not shy of taking his turn at the front. A top-10.

Phillipsen – the peloton has more time to reel the group back in. If we see a sprint, he wins.

Pithie – new kid on the block. Something tells me he could excel at semi-classics.

Who will win?

It is insane to leave to Visma-Lab riders out when you just have put a limit on yourself. From what I saw today, Visma once again has to perform well and decide the outcome. Follow the gameplan and it is won. I will take a win for Dylan van Baarle, a nice solo win.

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